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While it isn't considered guaranteed, studies have shown that using duct tape and plastic sheeting to shelter-in-place during a chemical or biological attack provides additional protection to people sheltering in place beyond that provided for by the structure of the house alone.

No, you are better off moving quickly to a designated shelter-in-place room and seal the room to reduce air flow from the outside into the room.

DHS recommends that you precut plastic sheeting for any windows, doors, vents or openings and label them appropriately. The plastic should then be stored with duct tape and scissors in the designated shelter-in-place room so that it can be quickly accessed and installed. DHS does not recommend that you install the plastic sheeting in advance. You can, however, make sure that any areas that can be permanently sealed such as where pipes come out of the wall or where trim meets the floor and walls, are properly caulked. This will also help reduce heating and cooling costs so is a good idea overall.

Help them through the steps outlined in Exposure During Chemical Attack, using extreme caution not to expose yourself to the chemical agent. 

For products that have no expiration date the only rule of thumb would be to look for any obvious signs of wear and tear. Products should not be used if there’s signs of damage, degradation, or discoloring. 

If you have any questions about the details of your letter, please call the Recoupment Helpline at 1-800-816-1122 between 9:00 AM and 8:00 PM EST, Monday through Friday. If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 1-800-427-5593 directly. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-816-1122.

If you require a ramp, please contact our FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 to speak with an agent. If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 1-800-427-5593 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

If after utilizing existing NFIP resources you still feel you still have not received the support you need, or feel you have not been treated fairly, you are encouraged to contact the OFIA for assistance. An Advocate Representative will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible with additional information on how your questions or concerns will be handled.

At this time, the Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate can be contacted by visiting our web site at and selecting the Ask the Flood Insurance Advocate a Question link.

If the release is outdoors and you are near the contaminated area, seek shelter inside a building. If you are not in the contaminated area, move away from suspected areas of contamination and avoid moving downwind of the area of the attack.